Saturday 13 February 2010

Valentine's Day

So, friends, it would appear that yet again, Valentine's Day has crept among us, ready to suffocate both the single and attached alike under a deluge of tacky presents, cuddly toys and sickly chocolates. I may sound cynical or thoroughly unimpressed by the entire debacle, but for once, it is not because the day simply reminds me of the desolation of being single. This year, I am not single. No, I am cynical and unimpressed because of the mass consumerism engendered by a day which should be about romance, spontaneity and love.

I celebrated Valentine's Day with my boyfriend on 2 February. This was partly to do with scheduling conflicts, but also because we don't really like to do what is expected. We're awkward that way. Hence the reason why I made him a card. That's right, I made it. I combined my knitting skills with my love of making things and ended up with a pretty spiffy item. It's unique, and the time and effort I put into it is a much better indicator of my affections than how much I might spend on something. I could have bought the most beautiful card in the world, but where is the imagination and thought in that?

So, if you're lucky enough to have a partner for Valentine's Day, here's my top three ways to celebrate.
  1. Make each other cards. They don't have to be soppy or sentimental - in fact, the funnier the better. Laughter should be a key part of every relationship, and the effort involved in making cards demonstrates how much you care. Anyone can spend money, but not everyone is willing to spend time.
  2. Buy presents, but don't go for the usual crap. Really put thought into it. Ignore what the shops tell you to buy, and get them something that you actually think they'll like. For example, how about a book by their favourite author, or those shoes/that video game they've been putting off buying due to the cost? Treat them.
  3. Go out for dinner, but go somewhere fun. Ignore all the romantic schmaltzy toss that is available around this time of year. Choose somewhere unusual, or different. Again, put thought into it, and concentrate on enjoying each other's company as opposed to putting on a front of romance just because that's what you're expected to do.
But what if you don't have a partner? You can still celebrate the sentiment behind the day. Remember that the Nuremberg Chronicles of 1493 describe St Valentine as being a Roman priest who was caught marrying Christian couples (and generally aiding Christians) at a time when Christians were being massively persecuted by Rome. He was beaten and stoned, but eventually beheaded. Really romantic, huh? So here's my top three ways to celebrate this altruistic saint.
  1. Donate time or money to a cause you strongly believe in. St Valentine risked death by sticking to his principles - the least you can do is go shopping in Oxfam.
  2. Organise a night out with your very best friends. Love comes in many forms, and simply being around people you care about is often the best reminder of that age-old adage, love is all around.
  3. Buy a pet. Make sure you'll be able to care for it, and tend its needs - a dog/cat/rabbit/hamster etc. is for life! Though if you do get one and look after it properly, it'll love you unconditionally! A dog certainly won't care if you forgot to brush your teeth, or haven't had time to get your roots done. It'll love you regardless.
Let me know how you all get on....


Anonymous said...

Loving the SVD alternatives. However, pity you're not getting your rocks off on the holiday now that you've taken a lover! Waste not want not, girl!

kathrynjankowski said...

I'd feel less cynical about the day had I not learned in college that it's all hype dreamed up by the greeting card and florist industry. So, I agree with your suggestions. Make it your day, your way.

Icy Sedgwick said...

I think that ALL celebratory days should be customised...I can't stand doing what I'm told. Make your own traditions!

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